The results of the largest study of its kind were presented at the 38th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE).
The study analyzed 5335 intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycles performed for fertility treatments between 2004 and 2001 at the practice of Dr. Panagiotis Cherouveim of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. The results show that creep-preserved sperm does not yield inferior outcomes for IUI treatments compared to fresh sperm.
Sperm are usually stored with cryopreservation, which involves a quarantine period of six months in which samples are selected for infections. Concerns about sperm viability after thawing include potentially affected motility, structure, and DNA content. However, both fresh and frozen samples resulted in similar pregnancy rates, although the frozen samples had a marginally longer time to pregnancy, and slight differences were observed in a small subgroup receiving specific medication after more than one IUI cycle.
“Although specific subgroups may benefit from fresh sperm utilization and the time to pregnancy may be shorter with fresh than frozen sperm, patients should be consulted about the non-inferiority of frozen sperm. No adverse effect of sperm cryopreservation on IUI outcomes was observed“says Dr. Cherouveim.
“The fact that our data showed no significant difference in success between the use of freshly ejaculated and frozen sperm, except in a subgroup of patients given oral ovulation-inducing drugs, is very reassuring to all involved.“Dr. Cherouveim continued.